Reinventing A River

Its waters drove our first Industrial Revolution—and were poisoned by it. Thoreau believed the Merrimack might not run pure again for thousands of years, but today it is a welcoming pathway through a hundred-mile-long red-brick museum of America’s rise to power.

Matters did not look promising. the path down to the canoe launch onto the Merrimack River was long and steep, thick with roots and brambles and sharply angled. Pushing, pulling, and grunting, we reached a scum-slicked spit of sand just below a wide stretch of renovated nineteenth-century mill buildings in Manchester, New Hampshire, and pushed off.

 
 
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The Other Cape

ON THE RUGGED COAST NORTH OF BOSTON, FOUR TOWNS SHARE A LONG HISTORY OF MORTAL PERIL AND ENDURING BEAUTY.

Cape Cod and Cape Ann—two seashore vacation draws not far from Boston —might appear to be siblings. But in truth the two Massachusetts capes are as different as mustard and custard. South of the city, Cape Cod thrusts seaward from the mainland as a 75-mile arm, flexed and brawny, with Provincetown for a fist. North of it, Cape Ann is hardly more than a snub nose poking into the Atlantic.

 
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